Exciting news out of Russia today, where Discovery Communications President & CEO David Zaslav announced expansion plans, including the debut of TLC and the launch a commercial-free, after-school science education programming block on Discovery Channel in this dynamic region in 2011.
Archive for September 2010
Discovery Channel’s Wild Pacific: Survivors, a special exploring the diversity of life in the pacific islands, was awarded Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Cinematography – Nature. (Check out a clip of Wild Pacific: Survivors at DiscoveryStore.com.)
Planet Green’s environmental documentary series Reel Impact took home two Emmys. The series’ The Last Beekeeper, a documentary following the struggles and successes beekeepers face on their journey to the largest beekeeping event of the year, won for Outstanding Nature Program. (Watch the trailer for The Last Beekeeper.) And Split Estate, a documentary chronicling the struggle that citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West face, won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Research.
The News & Documentary Emmy Awards are presented annually by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
One of the privileges that I have working for Discovery Communications is supporting the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) team. Every day they are working to use the transformative power of television to inspire and engage students in underserved communities around the world — currently in 16 countries reaching over 13,000 teachers, 830,000 students and 2.5 million community members. (Learn more about DCGEP by listening to this Live a Damn interview with President Aric Noboa.)
Earlier this month, I had a chance while on vacation to visit one of DCGEP’s Learning Centers in South Africa at the Xolani Primary School in the Guguletu Township outside Cape Town… and what a treat it was. After being welcomed by a group of Xolani students through dance, I was challenged to a dance-off (and I can confidently say that the girls had me beat).
The enthusiasm of the welcome did not diminish as I joined the students in their classroom — first for a math lesson and then for a technology class focusing on bridges. As a part of the DCGEP Learning Center initiative, participating schools receive equipment, three years of extensive teacher training in the use of television as an educational tool, and programming created in collaboration with local educators.
In addition to learning a thing or two about architecture that I didn’t know, I also was able to see firsthand how video can add depth and color to the classroom experience. Not to mention the fact that the library of videos created from Discovery’s 25 years of content is also used to educate the greater community.
Many thanks to Mashala Kwape and Lulu Sonqishe for such a memorable and meaningful end to my time in South Africa. To learn more about Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, please visit thepoweroftv.org!
This Sunday at 10pm ET/PT, TLC brings viewers inside the rarely-seen world of plural families with the premiere of Sister Wives, a seven-part series following Kody Brown, his three – soon to be four – wives and their many children.
Sister Wives is about husband Kody, his three wives Meri, Janelle and Christine and their combined 13 children, and shows how they attempt to navigate life as a “normal” family in a society that shuns their lifestyle. From their unconventional family structure and living arrangements to financial challenges, each episode exposes the inner workings of a polygamist household, revealing the tight-knit and loving relationships between Kody’s wives.
Sister Wives also captures the intense dynamics surrounding a man juggling three wives while attempting to keep it a secret from the outside world. The general public is not the only challenge that the Brown family unit is facing, however – the series begins with Kody announcing plans to take on another wife and her three kids. Although expected, the news is met with mixed feelings. Meri, Janelle and Christine were married before starting families so all of the children grew up as siblings. And for sixteen years, the sister wives have established their own roles within the group and worked together to maintain a cohesive, loving unit. Bringing on a fourth wife could easily disrupt the balance. The series chronicles the growing pains as Robyn and her kids assimilate into the family and the sister wives work through the insecurities and uncertainties that are inevitable to their chosen way of life.
Also, here is a sneak peek of what you’ll see on Sister Wives.
Discovery Communications Recognized for Science Initiative at Clinton Global Initiative Annual MeetingSeptember 23, 2010 | by gweiswasser
Discovery Communications was recognized today at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative for its multimedia, multi-year science initiative, “Be the Future,” which supports President Obama’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education priorities. (See Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav talking about the importance of a STEM education.) Zaslav, along with other business and non-profit leaders, was honored by President Bill Clinton before the meeting’s technology plenary (video below), which addressed how technology can play a major role in meeting global challenges.
In conjunction with today’s event, Discovery announced that Science Channel, the only 24-hour network devoted to showcasing the wonders of science, will continue inspiring and exciting viewers about science with Head Rush, the network’s one-hour, commercial-free block of programming targeted at middle-school age students. In its first four weeks on air, Head Rush posted double and triple-digit gains among key kids demos. Science Channel will continue airing the block every Monday-Friday from 4-5pm ET and Saturdays from 7-9am ET.
In addition, Discovery Education, which provides curriculum-based digital content and professional development and whose resources and services are available in more than half of U.S. schools, is adding exciting new Head Rush content to its Discovery Education streaming service. This content will include videos, interactives, images, articles, and more, and can be integrated into any curriculum. The additional Head Rush content is part of a larger investment to broaden the scope of STEM Connect, Discovery Education’s curriculum-based and career development resource designed to fuel teacher and classroom engagement by helping students link science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the real world.
Discovery has just launched a new pro bono initiative, Discovery Impact: Creating Change — where employees will lend their creative talents to Washington, D.C.-area nonprofits in need of marketing, communications and creative services during a 12-hour marathon event on December 14. You’ll find me helping out with social media tutorials and guidance, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our employees will be teaming up with nonprofits to lend a hand with everything from promotional materials and mission statements to event planning.
The program will be open for applications until October 22, at which point we’ll select the organizations whose needs our employees will fill during the marathon. Representatives from each organization will join us in person at the event to give feedback and participate in dynamic sessions across topic areas.
If you know of a nonprofit organization interested in participating in Creating Change, please encourage them to visit impact.discovery.com/creating-change. Again, we’ll be accepting applications through October 22 and selected organizations will be announced in November!